Metrics Perspectives

The “Metrics Perspectives” figure illustrates one way of looking at the different perspectives that metrics must provide. An immediate insight is that one is “looking at an elephant” as the seven blind men did in the fable. The key, as the various IRI metrics committees discovered, is to use metrics in a hierarchical (Maslow) manner; i.e., use those metrics that provide the most value for learning and change at any point in time, constantly altering them as the environment changes and stakeholders mature. This sounds hard until one remembers that the TVP and new Fuzzy Front End metrics make the selection and implementation process easy. A few outcome metrics for all functions, like strategic alignment, financial return and projected value of the R&D (IP, licensing, HR, etc.) pipeline offer executive teams a long-term time sequence perspective.

R&D metrics continue to progress in their level of sophistication. This has been a pattern observed over the last several decades and is a continually evolving process.

The best approach is to select a few cross-functional outcome metrics that can be applied consistently across your own company’s senior R&D, IP, Licensing, and HR functions. Augment the metrics with shorter-term internal metrics for organizational learning and improvement that change with environmental (context) conditions.